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Local confusion over 2008 AFCI requirements.


Richard Moore
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(Perhaps this should be in the WA section?)

OK, a few more questions regarding AFCIs for all 120-volt circuits as required by the 2008 NEC.

First: Has anyone seen a panel full of AFCIs yet?

Moving on to a more local, related issue:

Bellevue has this regarding AFCIs: http://www.bellevuewa.gov/pdf/developme ... _AFCIs.pdf . It's pretty clear with the first paragraph:

Beginning December 31, 2008, the City of Bellevue will require all general-purpose circuits in new or remodeled single-family and multifamily dwelling units to be protected with Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs).

However, the State of Washington has decided to stick with the previous requirement of bedrooms only:

Limitations On Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter Protection (AFCI)

The 2008 NEC requires combination arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCI) for virtually every room within a dwelling unit. Washington stakeholders have elected to maintain the 2005 NEC level of AFCI protected circuits. The rules will not require additional AFCI circuits beyond those for the bedrooms. The rules supersede the NEC as follows:

WAC 296-46B-210 Wiring and protection - Branch circuits. Arc-fault circuit-interrupter protection.

¡§(4) NEC 210.12(B) is amended to require AFCI protection only for dwelling unit bedroom spaces.

(a) Dwelling Unit Bedroom spaces include spaces that:

(i) Are used as the bedroom;

(ii) Are accessed only through the bedroom;

(iii) Are ancillary to the bedroom's function (e.g. closets, sitting areas, etc.);

(iv) Contain branch circuits that supply 125-volt, 15- and 20-ampere, outlets; and

(v) Are not bathrooms.

(b) If a new circuit(s) is added in an existing dwelling unit bedroom, an existing outlet(s) that is not

connected to the new circuit(s) does not require arc-fault circuit interrupter protection if the outlet(s) was installed before December 1, 2005.

© If an existing circuit, installed before December 1, 2005, is extended, arc-fault circuit interrupter protection is not required.

(d) Arc-fault circuit interrupter protection is not required to be used for smoke or fire alarm outlets.

Here's where it gets sticky and I'm confused at the moment.

From the Seattle Code Amendments effective June 5th, 2009

Dear Electrical Code Purchaser:

This packet contains the Seattle amendments to the 2008 National Electrical Code (NEC). You will not have a complete Seattle Electrical Code unless you also obtain a current copy of the Washington State Electrical Regulations, and the 2008 NEC. (my bold)

There is no amendment to 210.12 in these. So, this raises the question of whether the Seattle amendments apply to the NEC as already amended by the state, or to the original NEC. In other words, does Seattle require AFCIs everywhere or not?

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. . . So, this raises the question of whether the Seattle amendments apply to the NEC as already amended by the state, or to the original NEC. In other words, does Seattle require AFCIs everywhere or not?

Sounds like you need to call the Chief Electrical Inspector.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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I just got off the phone with a Tim Porter (Electrical Plans Examiner) at Seattle DPD. Seattle is adopting the NEC 2008 requirement for AFCIs on all 120-volt circuits. This didn't go into effect until June 8th, this year, and will only apply to permits pulled after that date.

So...it seems it will still be a few months before we actually start seeing panels full of AFCIs in the city of Seattle, but they are coming.

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I just got off the phone with a Tim Porter (Electrical Plans Examiner) at Seattle DPD. Seattle is adopting the NEC 2008 requirement for AFCIs on all 120-volt circuits. This didn't go into effect until June 8th, this year, and will only apply to permits pulled after that date.

So...it seems it will still be a few months before we actually start seeing panels full of AFCIs in the city of Seattle, but they are coming.

In Oregon, after a new code is adopted, the builders have a 6 month window during which they can choose to apply for their permits under either the old or the new code. Does WA have a similar choice?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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I don't know Jim. The Seattle DPD guy made it sound like the June 8th was a solid deadline for the city, but we have so many other jurisdictions around here I wouldn't know where to start looking. I don't do phase inspections so my curiosity is probably a little less than if I did. Mike, or others might know more.

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It really shouldn't be much of an issue.

Write them up, cite the most current model code requirements, state that you don't know whether the local municipality has adopted that requirement yet, or is enforcing it, and advise the client to check with the municipality and go from there - either disregard 'cuz they aren't required yet or insist that things are corrected appropriately.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Quote: Beginning December 31, 2008, the City of Bellevue will require all general-purpose circuits in new or remodeled single-family and multifamily dwelling units to be protected with Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs).

Wonder how they will deal with this on a panel change? It does not say only new circuits. Oversight perhaps?

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